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Family Of Suspect Involved In Police Shootout Say He Was In Recovery

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Adrian Montesano (Source: File Mug Shot/Miami-Dade Corrections)

Adrian Montesano (Source: File Mug Shot/Miami-Dade Corrections)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of Adrian Montesano, the man who was killed in a wild shootout with police after he allegedly held up a Walgreens clerk, shot a police and stole his cruiser, then led police on the chase that ended in the shootout that took his life, say the 27-year-old was in recovery and “was not the same boy” they raised.

Montesano’s family, in a press release, stated that Montesano, “portrayed by his alleged actions” was out of his character and that he was “raised in a loving and caring environment.”

The family’s statement went on to say, “he had been working hard to overcome his personal issues for the past three and a half years in recovery.” But what he was in recovery for the family did not disclose.

The family of the 27-year-old said, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the officers who were injured in this incident,” also wishing them a “speedy recovery” and asking forgiveness of their son.

In the wake of the incident, Montesano’s family also asks authorities to create a “dialogue” in order to “figure out a way to prevent the violence in our community from escalating.”

The family said Montesano had a bright future in the construction industry “where he had displayed talent,” the press release reads.

The incident began around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when Montesano stormed into a Walgreens store on 27th avenue and Flagler Street, put a gun to an employee’s head and demanded money.  While he didn’t get any money from the register, he did steal a security guards wallet.  As he left the store, he exchanged gunfire with the guard.

A friend of the subject, who did not wish to be named in this report, said Montesano used drugs and tried to rob the store because he needed the money.

A short time after the robbery, Miami-Dade police received a report of shots fired at a mobile home park a couple miles away from the Walgreens. Sources tell CBS4′s Jim Defede, officer Saul Rodriguez was looking for witnesses to the gunshots when Montesano attacked him.  The two struggled and sources say Montesano shot Officer Rodriguez with the officer’s own gun.

“He encountered this dangerous gentleman who basically shot him,” said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.

GALLERY: FOUR OFFICERS HURT IN SOUTH FLORIDA SHOOTINGS

Montesano then took off in Rodriguez’s patrol car with the officer’s gun, according to police.

Rodriguez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery.  He’s expected to make a full recovery.

Sources say Montesano drove to his grandmother’s house in Hialeah where he traded the patrol car for her blue Volvo and then picked up a passenger, Corsini Valdes.

A Hialeah officer spotted the Volvo and chased it. During that chase, sources said that shots were fired from the Volvo at officers.

The chase came to an end with the Volvo crashed between a utility pole and a tree at NW 27th Avenue and 63rd Street.

As at least 23 officers from the Miami, Miami-Dade and Hialeah police departments converged on the car, and the guns fired.

A source told CBS4 News Wednesday night that, contrary to prior information, Montesano and Valdes were not armed.

READ: Source: Two Men Killed In Wild Shootout Were Not Armed 

“It was out of control,” said one man who lives in the neighborhood. “There’s more shots, (police yelling) ‘Get out of this area, get out of this area’.”

Both Montesano and Valdes were killed.

During the shooting, two Miami-Dade officers were hit in their arms.  A Hialeah officer was injured by shattering glass, according to Patterson.

The barrage of gunfire was so loud two Miami officers were taken to the hospital as precaution after complaining of ringing in their ears.  All of the injured officers, except Rodriguez, were treated and released.

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